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Johnny Cueto tips his cap to Red Sox after allowing career-high 13 hits in loss: ‘They just beat me’ 08.21.15 at 10:52 pm ET
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Johnny Cueto of the Kansas City Royals throws in the first inning against the Red Sox Friday night.  (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Johnny Cueto of the Kansas City Royals throws in the first inning against the Red Sox Friday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If that was an audition, Johnny Cueto may want to petition for a do-over.

The Royals ace acquired from Cincinnati on the Sunday before the trade deadline was racked for a career-high 13 hits and seven runs – six earned – over six innings in a 7-2 Red Sox win Friday night at Fenway Park. For some perspective, Cueto hadn’t allowed double figure hits in a single outing since June 21, 2013, when he was tagged for 11 hits and seven runs in a loss to the Diamondbacks. One outing later, Cueto headed to the disabled list for two months with a lat strain, derailing Cincinnati’s hopes of a division title.

Both Cueto and his manager Ned Yost insisted afterward this was a one-game blip and not a warning flag.

“[He looked] completely comfortable,” Yost said. “He kept competing his tail but just wasn’t really sharp. He never stopped competing but he just wasn’t exceptionally sharp. He was competing through it. He just got some pitches up and got slapped the other way. Pitches hit up the middle. It was one of those nights.”

Cueto, who appeared to be stretching his side occasionally on the mound, said the outing was more about the Red Sox batters than his ineffectiveness.

“First of all, they made adjustments to me,” Cueto said. “I didn’t leave too many [pitches] up. But the ones I did leave up, they put good swings on them. They just beat me today. Those guys are major league baseball players and they’re in a major league lineup and they just beat me.”

To Cueto’s point, Mookie Betts set the tone by taking a Cueto slider the other way to right-center for a double to open the Boston first inning. He didn’t score but it was one of three hits for Betts on the night off Cueto. Blake Swihart went the other way in his first two at-bats against Cueto for base hits. The big adjustment? Look for Cueto’s nasty off-speed stuff and go to the opposite field and up the middle. It worked all night for the Red Sox, who made Cueto sweat on a humid night in Boston.

The capper was Josh Rutledge crushing a pitch from Cueto over the Green Monster in the sixth for a two-run homer that salted the game away. It was the fifth hit in six career at-bats for Rutledge off Cueto.

“It just a bad outing. I’m going to keep my head up and get ready for the next start,” Cueto said.

Just on Thursday, Cueto, who turns 30 in February, said he would want to come to Boston in 2016 as a free agent because the Red Sox are a championship-caliber contender. Maybe Cueto is also aware of just how much the Red Sox have hammered other “aces” this season, with the likes of Sonny Gray, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez (2x), Chris Sale and Cole Hamels all going down to defeat to Boston.

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, johnny cueto, kansas city royals
Hot Stove: Royals manager Ned Yost on Wil Myers rumors and KC’s pursuit of a starter 12.03.12 at 5:45 pm ET
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Royals manager Ned Yost suggested that outfielder Wil Myers — Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2012 after hitting 37 homers in Double-A and Triple-A as a 21-year-old — reminds him of a young Dale Murphy, the former Braves center fielder and two-time NL MVP. He suggested that like Murphy, Myers has 30-plus homer potential. Kansas City plans to let him compete for an everyday job in spring training.

That said, in the aftermath of reports (including from WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford) last week that had the Royals considering trade proposals that would send Myers elsewhere for a front-of-the-rotation starter such as Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester or Tampa Bay’s James Shields, Yost also acknowledged that the Royals are open to the possibility of trading top prospects for a pitcher who can anchor their starting staff.

“Absolutely,” Yost said of the possibility of trading a top prospect for a starter. “But I can give you like nine more scenarios. … We’€™re looking at all of our options. We feel like we’€™re really close to being able to compete, and we’€™re looking at every option that we can. [Royals GM Dayton Moore has] worked really hard over the last five years to fill our minor league system with tremendous prospects that we can use for situations like this. We’€™re looking at a bunch of different options. One may work out; none may work out. We’€™re just going to do what’€™s best for our organization.

“Starting pitching, can’€™t have enough of it,” he added. “I’€™d like to have as much as I can get. But at what cost? That’€™s important to me.”

For now, Yost said, he felt no need to talk to Myers about his spot in the rumor mill.

“We’€™re talking about stuff, just like all organizations are, we’€™ve been locked up in our room, going over 90 different scenarios with 40 different players,” said Yost. “They’€™re just rumors right now.”

Read More: 2012 Hot Stove, james shields, Jon Lester, ned yost
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